I still remember it...the power of a classmate's essay to transport me out of fifth-period English into an enchanted autumn glen, dappled with sunlight and brilliant with majesty. In seventh grade, I knew I would be a writer.

I organized a writing group with two friends.We spent hours pouring all the hopes and dreams about our future lives into an action/adventure/fantasy that was published only at slumber parties. My handwritten saga weighed in at five pounds, 259 pages. Today it has a place of honor - somewhere under a pile of papers in the bottom of a very deep drawer.

But real dreams are not so easily buried. I studied writing in college and worked for a couple of newspapers. With marriage and family, I shifted to freelance efforts for greater flexibility and much less pay. Even if no one wanted my stories, the wonder of everyday events begged to be birthed into words. My wallet was empty, but my journal was full.

Now, in the autumn of my life, I'm in a golden place again.Time and experience make wonderful editors.Those rejected stories are finding homes.The God who planted the dream is bringing a harvest. And His timing is so much better than mine. 

Lord, help me remember it's never too late to begin again.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.--Ecclesiastes 3:11a NKJV

                                                                                                                     --Marcia Swearingen

                                                                                                      excerpt from Daily Devotions for Writers

                                                                                                                                        Patricia Lorenz, Editor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

I am a former newspaper editor and columnist, now focusing on inspirational non-fiction. My stories have appeared in Guideposts magazine, Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul; Chicken Soup for the Woman Golfer’s Soul; Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms; Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles; A Cup of Comfort for the Devotional Christian; A Cup of Comfort Women’s Devotional, and at Made to Matter, a website for Christians in the workplace. I have also contributed to Chattanooga City Scope and Health Scope magazines, the Scenic City Women’s Networker, the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, and Chattanoogan.com.


For the past 10 years, I have facilitated Writers for the Christian Market, a critique group of the Chattanooga Writers Guild. These friends come together each month because we share a commitment: To celebrate, through the published word, the hope and wonder of God moments, big and small; to uncover the divine within the ordinary and the blessing within every challenge; to uplift and encourage a world that needs some good news; and above all, to offer the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

For the past 44 years, I have also shared life with my husband and best friend, Jim. We have a grown daughter and son-in-law who have given me more source material - two granddaughters, ages three and eighteen months. Our empty nest includes a geriatric creole cat named Rommie. I do love restoring old things -  like my granddaddy's fiddle, my grandmother's cedar chest, and I need to do something with that dusty medal Jim and I won for ice dancing...but that's another story.


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